Sunday, March 3, 2019
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story Chapter 23~24
Chapter 23 mammary gland and Terrapin PieShes in town, Jody state. Shes coming oer in a few minutes. Jody take trim down the ph 1 to its cradle.Tommy appeared in the bed inhabit gateway, Scott still dangling from his sleeve. Youre kidding.Youre missing a cufflink, Jody said.I dont look at hes going to allow go. Do we go some(prenominal) scissors?Jody took Tommy by the sleeve a few inches above where Scott was clamped. You build?Tommy nodded and she ripped his sleeve modernise through-key at the shoulder. Scott skulked into the bedchamber, the sleeve still clamped in his jaws.That was my surpass shirt, Tommy said, aspect at his bare arm.Sorry, nonwithstanding weve got to bonnie this place up and posture a spirit level together.Where did she beef from?She was at the Fairmont Hotel. Weve got maybe ex minutes.So she wont be staying with us.Are you kidding? My mother under the same hood where people are living in sin? Not in this lifetime, turtleboy.Tommy took the turtleboy shot in stride. This was an emergency and there was no time for attenuate spiritings. Does you mother use phrases bid living in sin?I remember she has it embroidered on a sampler over the teleph unrivalled so she wont interference to use it eery month when I call.Tommy shook his head. Were doomed. why didnt you call her this month? She said you always call her.Jody was pacing this instant, trying to think. Because I didnt get my reminder.What reminder?My level. I always call her when I get my period each month just to get all the un lovelyness fall discover of the way at one time.When was the last time you had a period?Jody thought for a minute. It was before she had off-key. I dont know, eight, nine weeks. Im sorry, I cant take I forgot.Tommy went to the futon, sat down, and cradled his head in his hands. What do we do now?Jody sat next to him. I dont suppose we ask time to redecorate.In the next ten minutes, turn they cleaned up the store, Jody tried to prepare Tommy for what he was rough to experience. She doesnt care men. My father left her for a younger fair sex when I was twelve, and Mother thinks all men are snakes. And she doesnt really a uniform(p) women either, since she was betrayed by one. She was one of the first women to graduate from Stanford, so shes a play of a snob ab come to the fore that. She says that I broke her heart when I didnt go to Stanford. Its been downhill since therefore. She doesnt like that I live in the metropolis and she has never approved of any of my jobs, my boyfri finales, or the way I dress.Tommy halt in the middle of scrubbing the kitchen sink. So what should I talk ab come in?It would probably be best if you just sat quietly and looked repentant.Thats how I always look.Jody heard the stairwell door open. Shes here. Go change your shirt.Tommy ran to the bedroom, stripping forth his one-sleever as he went. Im not ready for this, he thought. I obtain more work to do on myself before Im ready for a presentation.Jody unfastened the door catching her mother poise to knock.Mom Jody said, with as much enthusiasm as she could muster. You look great.Frances Evelyn Stroud stood on the landing face at her youngest daughter with res train disapproval. She was a short, stout woman urbane in layers of wool and silk under an eggshell cashmere coat. Her hair was a weave gray-blond, flared and lacquered to expose a match of pearl earrings roughly the size of table tennis balls. Her eyebrows had been plucked out spinal column(a) and painted bandaging, her cheekbones were high and highlighted, her lips lined, filled, and clamped tight. She had the same striking kB eyes as her daughter, flecked now with sparks of judgment. She had been pretty once still was now passing into the limbo-land of the menopausal woman known as handsome.whitethorn I come in, she said.Jody, caught in the half-gesture of offering a hug, dropped her arms. Of course, she said, maltreatping aside. Its high-priced to substantiate you, she said, closing the door behind her mother.Tommy bounded from the bedroom into the kitchen and s palpebra to a stop on stocking feet. Hi, he said.Jody rig her hand on her mothers back. Frances flinched, ever so slightly, at the touch. Mother, this is Thomas Flood. Hes a generator. Tommy, this is my mother, Frances Stroud.Tommy approached Frances and offered his hand. enraptured to meet youShe clutched her Gucci bag tightly, and then forced herself to take his hand. Mrs. Stroud, she said, trying to head off the unpleasantness of hearing her Christian name come out of Tommys mouth.Jody broke the moment of discomfort so they could pass into the next one. So, Mom, can I take your coat? Would you like to ride down?Frances Stroud surrendered her coat to her daughter as if she were surrendering her credit tease to a mugger, as if she didnt regard to know where it was going because she would never propose it again. Is this your couch? she as ked, nodding toward the futon.Have a seat, Mother well get you something to drink. We read Jody realized that she had no idea what they had. Tommy, what do we stool?Tommy wasnt expecting the questions to start so soon. Ill look, he said, running to the kitchen and throwing open a drudgeinet. We have hot chocolate, regular and decaf. He dug behind the coffee, the sugar, the powdered creamer. We have Ovaltine, and He threw open the refrigerator. Beer, milk, cranberry juice, and beer a lot of beer I mean, not a lot, but plenty, and He opened the chest freezer. Peary stared up at him through a gap amongst frozen dinners. Tommy slammed the lid. thats it. Nothing in there.Decaf, please, said Mother Stroud. She turned to Jody, who was reversive from balling up her mothers cashmere coat and throwing it in the corner of the clo stage set. So, youve left your job at Transamerica. Are you workingss, dear?Jody sat in a wicker lead across the wicker coffee table from her mother. ( Tommy had decided to decorate the loft in a Pier 1 Imports cheap-shit motif. As a upshot it was only a ceiling fan and a cockatoo away from looking like a Thai cat planetary house.)Jody said, Ive taken a job in marketing. It traveled respectable. It sounded professional. It sounded like a lie.You capacity have told me and saved me the embarrassment of career Transamerica only to find out that you had been let go.I quit, Mother. I wasnt let go.Tommy, trying to will himself invisible, bowed his way between them to deliver the decaf, which he had arranged on a wicker tray with cream and sugar. And you, Mr. Flood, youre a writer? What do you write?Tommy brightened. Im working on a short story about a teensy girl growing up in the South. Her father is on a chain gang.Youre from the South, then?No, Indiana.Oh, she said, as if he had just confessed to being raised by rats. And where did you go to university?I, um, Im sort of self-educated. I think experience is the best teacher. Tommy realized that he was sweating.I see, she said. And where might I read your work?Im not published yet. He squirmed. Im working on it, though, he added quickly.So you have another job. Are you in marketing as well?Jody intervened. She could see steam rising off Tommy. He manages the Marina Safeway, Mother. It was a wasted lie, nothing compared to the tapestry of lies she had woven for her mother over the years.Mother Stroud turned a scalpel scan on her daughter. You know, Jody, its not too late to apply to Stanford. Youd be a bit aged than the other freshmen, but I could pull a few strings.How does she do this? Jody wondered. How does she come into my home and within minutes make me feel like dirt on a stick? Why does she do it?Mother, I think Im beyond going back to tutor.Mother Stroud picked up her shape as if to sip, then paused. Of course, dear. You wouldnt want to neglect your career and family.It was a oral sucker punch delivered with polite, extended-pinky malice. Jody t angle something drop inside her like cyanide pellets into acid. Her guilt dropped through the gallows trap and jerked with broken-neck finality. She regretted only the ten thousand sentences she had started with, I love my mother, but You do that so people dont judge you refrigerating and inhuman, Jody thought. Too late now.She said, Perhaps youre right, Mother. Perhaps if I had gone to Stanford I would understand why I wasnt born with an innate knowledge of readying and cleaning and child-rearing and managing a career and a relationship. Ive always wondered if its lack of pedagogics or genetic deficiency.Mother Stroud was unshaken. I cant speak for your fathers genetic background, dear.Tommy was delicious that Mother Strouds attention had turned from him, but he could see Jodys gaze narrowing, going from hurt to anger. He treasured to come to her aid. He precious to make peace. He cherished to hide in the corner. He wanted to wade in and kick ass. He weighed his polite upbrin ging against the anarchists, rebels, and iconoclasts who were his heroes. He could eat this woman alive. He was a writer and words were his weapons. She wouldnt have a chance. Hed destroy her.And he would have. He was taking a copious breath to prepare to light into her when he apothegm a rap of denim disappearing slowly under the frame of the futon his dismembered shirt sleeve. He held his breath and looked at Jody. She was smiling, saying nothing.Mother Stroud said, Your father was at Stanford on an athletic scholarship, you know. They would have never let him in otherwise.Im sure youre right, Mother, Jody said. She smiled politely, earshot not to her mother, but to the melodic scraping of turtle claws on spread over. She rivet on the sound and could hear the slow, cold lugging of Scotts heart.Mother Stroud sipped her decaf. Tommy waited. Jody said, So how farseeing will you be in the City?I just came up to do some shopping. Im sponsoring a bene blend in for the Monterey Sym phony and I wanted a new gown. Of course I could have found something in Carmel, but everyone would have seen it already. The bane of living in a small community.Jody nodded as if she understood. She had no connection to this woman, not anymore. Frances Evelyn Stroud was a stranger, an unpleasant stranger. Jody felt more of a connection with the turtle under the futon.Under the futon, Scott spy a pattern of scales on Mother Strouds shoes. Hed never seen Italian faux-alligator kernels, but he knew scales. When you are lying peacefully buried in the ball up at the bottom of a pond and you see scales, it means food. You bite.Frances Stroud pipe and leaped to her feet, pulling her right foot free of her shoe as she drop into the wicker coffee table. Jody caught her mother by the shoulders and set her on her feet. Frances pushed her away and backed across the room as she watched the snapping turtle emerge from under the futon merrily chomping on the pump.What is that? What is that t hing? That thing is eating my shoe. engine block it Kill itTommy hurdled the futon and dived for the turtle, catching the heel of the shoe before it disappeared. Scott dug his claws into the carpet and backed off. Tommy came up with heel in hand.I got part of it.Jody went to her mothers side. I meant to call the exterminator, Mother. If Id had more noticeMother Stroud was breathing in nauseate yips. How can you live like this?Tommy held the heel out to her.I dont want that. Call me a cab.Tommy paused, considered the opportunity, then let it pass and went to the phone.You cant go out without shoes, Mother. Ill get you something to wear. Jody went to the bedroom and came back with her rattiest pair of sneakers. Here, Mom, these will get you back to the hotel.Mother Stroud, afraid to sit down anywhere, leaned against the door and pure toneped into the sneakers. Jody tied them for her and slipped the uneaten pump into her mothers bag. There you go. She stepped back. Now, what are we going to do for the holi daytimes?Mother Stroud, her gaze trained on Scott, just shook her head. The turtle had wedged himself between the legs of the coffee table and was dragging it around the loft.A cab pulled up outside and beeped the horn. Mother Stroud tore her gaze away from the turtle and looked at her daughter. Ill be in Europe for the holidays. I have to go now. She opened the door and backed out through it.Bye, Mom, Jody said.Nice meeting you, Mrs. Stroud, Tommy called after her.When the cab pulled away, Tommy turned to Jody and said, Well, that went pretty well, didnt it? I think she likes me.Jody was leaning against the door, staring at the floor. She looked up and began to giggle silently. Soon she was doubled over laughing.What? Tommy said.Jody looked up at him, tears streaming her face. I think Im ready to meet your folks, dont you?I dont know. They might be sort of upset that youre not a Methodist.Chapter 24The Return of BreakfastThe Emperor lay spread-eagle on the end of a dock in the Saint Francis Yacht Club Marina, reflection clouds pass over the bay. Bummer and Lazarus lay beside him, their feet in the air, dozing. The three might have been crucified there, if the dogs hadnt been smiling.Men, the Emperor said, it seems to me now that there is, indeed, a point to that Otis Redding form about sitting on the dock of the bay. After a desire night of vampire hunting, this is a most pleasant way to decease the day. Bummer, I believe a commendation is in order. When you led us down here, I thought you were wasting our time.Bummer did not answer. He was woolgather of a park full of large trees and bite-sized mailmen. His legs twitched and he let out a sleepy ruff each time he crunched one of their tiny heads. In dreams, mailmen taste like chicken.The Emperor said, But pleasant as this is, it tastes of guilt, of responsibility. Two months tracking this fiend, and we are no closer to purpose him than when we started. Yet here we lay, enjoying the day. I can see the faces of the victims in these clouds.Lazarus involute over and licked the Emperors hand.Youre right, Lazarus, without sleep we will not be fit for battle. Perhaps, in leading us here, Bummer was wiser than we thought.The Emperor closed his eyes and let the sound of waves lapping against the piers lull him to sleep.Lying at anchor, a degree Celsius yards away, was a hundred-foot motor yacht registered in the Netherlands. Belowdecks, in a tight stainless steel vault, the vampire slept through the day.Tommy had been asleep for an hour when punt on the door downstairs woke him. In the darkness of the bedroom he nudged Jody, but she was out for the day. He checked his watch 730 A.M.The loft rocked with the pounding. He crawled out of bed and stumbled to the door in his underwear. The dawning light spilling though the lofts windows temporarily blinded him and he barked his shin on the corner of the freezer on his way through the kitchen.Im coming, he yelled. It sounded as if they were using a hammer on the door.He did a Quasimodo step and slid down the stairs, behaveing his damaged shin in one hand, and bonkers the downstairs door. Simon peeked through the crack. Tommy could see a ball-peen hammer in his hand, poised for another pound.Simon said, Pardner, we need to have us a sit-down.Im sleeping, Sime. Jodys sleeping.Well, youre up now. put forward up the secondary woman, we need eat.Tommy opened the door a little wider and saw Drew dazzling a stoned and goofy grin behind Simon. Fearless LeaderAll the Animals were there, holding grocery bags, waiting.Tommy thought, This is how Anne crude(a) felt when the Gestapo came to the door.Simon pushed through the door, causing Tommy to hop back a step to avoid having his toes skinned. Hey.Simon looked at Tommys erection-stretched jockey shorts. That just a morning wood, or you in the middle of something?I told you, I was sleeping.Youre young, it could still grow some. Dont feel bad.Tommy lo oked down at his insulted member as Simon breezed past him up the stairs, followed by the rest of the Animals. Glint and Lash stopped and helped Tommy to his feet.I was sleeping, Tommy said pathetically. Its my day off.Lash patted Tommys shoulder. Im cutting class today. We thought you needed moral support.For what? Im fine.Cops came by the store last night looking for you. We wouldnt spend a penny them your address or anything.Cops? Tommy was waking up now. He could hear beers being popped open in the loft. What did the cops want with me?They wanted to see your time cards. They wanted to see if you were working on a bunch of nights. They wouldnt say why. Simon tried to distract them by accusing me of leading a black terrorist group.That was nice of him.Yeah, hes a sweetheart. He told that new cashier, Mara, that you were in love with her but were too shy to secure her.Forgive him, Clint said piously. He knows not what he does.Simon popped out onto the landing. Flood, did you med icine this bitch? She wont wake up.Stay out of the bedroom Tommy shook off Lash and Clint and ran up the stairs.Cavuto chewed an unlit cigar. I say we go to the kids house and lean on him.Rivera looked up from a stack of green-striped computer printout. Why? He was working when all the murders happened.Because hes all weve got. What about the prints on the have any thing?There were half a dozen good prints on the cover. Nothing the computer could match. Interesting thing is, none of the prints were the victims. He never touched it.What about the kid a match?No way to tell, hes never been printed. Let it go, Nick. That kid didnt kill these people.Cavuto ran his hand over his bald head as if looking for a bump that would hold an answer. Lets arrest him and print him.On what charges?Well ask him. You know what the Chinese say, measuring rod a kid every day if you dont know why, the kid will. You ever think about adopting, Nick? Rivera flipped the last page of the printout and threw i t into the wastebasket by his desk. Justice doesnt have shit. All the unsolved murders with massive blood red ink involve mutilation. No vampires here.For two months they had avoided using the word. Now, here it was. Cavuto took out a wooden match, scraped it against the bottom of his shoe, and moved it around the tip of his cigar. Rivera, we will not refer to this perp by the V-word again. You dont remember the Night Stalker. This fucking Whiplash cause of death thing the press has picked up is bad enough.You shouldnt smoke in here, said Rivera. The sprout eaters will file a grievance.Fuck em. I cant think without smoking. Lets run sex offenders. Look for priors of rapes and assaults with blood draining. This guy might have just graduated to killing. Then lets run it with cross-dressers.Cross-dressers?Yeah, I want to put this thing with the redhead to bed. Having a lead is ruining our perfect record.She woke to a miasma of smells that hit her like a sockful of sand burned eggs, b acon grease, beer, maple syrup, pee pot smoke, whiskey, vomit and male sweat. The smells carried memories from before the change memories of high school keggers and drunken surfers face-down in puddles of puke. Hangover memories. Coming as they did, right after a visit from her mother, they carried shame and loathing and the urge to fall back into bed and hide under the covers.She thought, I guess theres a few things about being human that I dont miss.She pulled on a pair of sweatpants and one of Tommys shirts and opened the bedroom door. It looked as if the good ship supranational Pancakes had run aground in the kitchen. Every horizontal surface was cover with breakfast jetsam. She stepped through the debris, careful not to kick any of the plates, fry pans, coffee cups, or beer cans that littered the floor. Beyond the freezer and the counter she spot the shipwreck survivor.Tommy lay on the futon, limbs akimbo, an empty Bushmills bottle by his head, snoring.She stood there fo r a moment running her options over in her head. On one hand, she wanted to fly into a rage wake Tommy up and howler monkey at him for violating the sanctity of their home. A justifiable tantrum was strongly tempting. On the other hand, until now Tommy had always been considerate. And he would clean everything up. Plus, the hangover he was about to experience would be more punishment than she could dole out in a week. Besides, she wasnt really that angry. It didnt seem to matter. It was just a mess. It was a tough decision.She thought, Oh heck, no harm, no foul. Ill just make him coffee and give him that Im-so-disappointed-in-you look.Tommy, she said. She sat down on the edge of the futon and jostled him gently. Sweetheart, wake up youve destroyed the house and I need you to suffer for it.Tommy opened one bloodshot eye and groaned. Sick, he said.Jody heard a convulsive sloshing in Tommys wear and before she could think about it she had caught him under the armpits and was draggin g him across the room to the kitchen sink.Oh my deity Tommy cried, and if he was going to say anything else it was drowned out by the sound of his stomach emptying into the sink. Jody held him up, smiling to herself with the satisfaction of the self-righteously sober.After a few seconds of retching, he gasped and looked up at her. Tears streamed down his face. His trespass dripped threads of slime.Cheerfully, Jody said, Can I fix you a drink?Oh my God His head went back into the sink and the body-wrenching utter began anew. Jody patted his back and said measly baby until he came up for air again.How about some breakfast? she asked.He dived into the sink once again.After five minutes the heaves subsided and Tommy hung on the edge of the sink. Jody turned on the faucet and used the dish out sprayer to hose off his face. I guess you and the guys had a little party this morning, huh?Tommy nodded, not looking up. I tried to keep them out. Im sorry. Im scum.Yes, you are, sweetheart. S he ruffed his hair.Ill clean it up.Yes, you will, she said.Im really sorry.Yes, you are. Do we want to go back to the futon and sit down?Water, Tommy said.She ran him a glass of water and steadied him while he drank, then aimed him into the sink when the water came back up.Are you finished now? she asked.He nodded.She dragged him into the bathroom and washed his face, rubbing a little too hard, like an angry mother administering an abrasive spit-bath to a chocolate-cover toddler. Now you go sit down and Ill make you some coffee.Tommy staggered back to the living room and reprehensible onto the futon. Jody found the coffee filters in the cupboard and began to make the coffee. She opened the cupboard to look for a cup but the Animals had used them all. They were strewn around the loft, tip over or half full of whisky diluted by melted ice.Ice?TommyHe groaned and grabbed his head. Dont yell.Tommy, did you guys use the ice from the freezer?I dont know. Simon was bartending.Jody brush ed the dishes and pans from the lid of the chest freezer and threw it open. The ice trays, the ones Tommy had bought for the drowning experiment, were empty and confused around the inside of the freezer. Pearys frosty face stared up at her. She slammed the lid shut and stormed across the room to Tommy.Dammit, Tommy, how could you be so careless?Dont yell. Please dont yell. Ill clean it up.Clean it up my ass. Someone was in the freezer. Someone saw the body.I think Im going to be sick.Did they come into the bedroom while I was sleeping? Did they see me?Tommy cradled his head as if it would crack at any moment and spill his brains onto the floor. They had to get to the bathroom. Its okay I covered you up so the light wouldnt get to you.You idiot She snatched up a coffee cup and prepared to throw it at him, then caught herself. She had to get out of here before she hurt him. She shook as she set the cup on the counter.Im going out, Tommy. Clean up this mess. She turned and went to the bedroom to change.When she emerged, still shaking with anger, Tommy was standing in the kitchen looking repentant.Will you be home before I leave for work?She glared at him. I dont know. I dont know when Ill be back. Why didnt you just put a sign on the door, See the Vampire? This is my life youre playing with, Tommy.He didnt answer. She turned and walked out, slamming the door.Ill feed your turtles for you, he called after her.